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Meta to open first brick-and-mortar retail space in California next month

Meta to open first brick-and-mortar retail space in California next month
Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased the tech giant's new store on his Facebook page with photo of him trying out the Quest 2 virtual reality headsets. Photo courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg/Facebook

April 25 (UPI) -- Meta announced Monday it will open its first brick-and-mortar retail space in California next month to allow customers to test its hardware, such as virtual reality headsets.

The roughly 1,550-square-foot store will open May 9 with operating hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT Monday through Friday on Meta's campus in Burlingame, Calif.

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"Having the store here in Burlingame gives us more opportunity to experiment and keep the customer experience core to our development," Martin Gilliard, head of Meta Store, said in a statement. "What we learn here will help define our future retail strategy.

The store will include interactive demos on the Meta Portal video calling system, Ray-Ban Stories through smart glasses that allow people to take photos or record videos through the click of a button, and Quest 2 virtual reality headsets, according to the company's statement.

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The Quest 2 demo has its own area where customers can try out virtual reality games like Beat Saber, Real VR Fishing, and a boxing game Supernatural on a large, wall-to-wall curved LED screen that displays what they are seeing in-headset.

Customers will be able to purchase Quest 2 accessories and portal devices at the store, and if they're interested in Ray-Ban Stories smart glasses retail associates will be available to help them order them directly from Ray-Ban.

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Shoppers will also be able to take home a 30-second clip of their demo experience.

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"Once people experience the technology, they can gain a better appreciation for it," Gilliard said in a statement. "If we did our job right, people should leave and tell their friends, 'You've got to check out the Meta Store.'"

Meta previously partnered with Best Buy for pop-up demo stations that let shoppers try Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets for free, but closed 200 of 500 stores, Business Insider reported. The stores had infrequent requests for demos and slow sales, according to employees.

Last June, Google opened its first brick-and-mortar retail store in New York City.

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